Let’s say you had a water leak recently repaired and that it had grown mold and bacteria as a result. We will say this came from the water heater that is in the garage next to the HVAC unit air handler on the platform sitting on top of the plenum chamber. In this case, the water, mold, and bacteria growth affected the plenum chamber. FYI: the plenum chamber is where the air handler (or big fan) moves air from to the air ducts around the home in this case.
As a result of the plenum chamber/area being affected this has distributed mold and bacteria all around the home so everything has been contaminated to one degree or another and needs decontamination. How can this be paid for so it does not break your bank account?
If you are a homeowner and a claim was filed to cover the remediation and water mitigation done by a certified company then the claim can also cover decontaminating the rest of your home. However, you will likely need a report from a Certified Microbial Consultant or Certified Industrial Hygienist recommending this be done. The company that performed the water mitigation and mold remediation can do this work but generally may not outwardly recommend it. These companies also do not provide reports as the CIH and CMC do. Also, your insurance company can reimburse you for the expense of the report and inspection performed.
Once you have this report provided by the CIH or CMC you then give it to your insurance adjuster so they know specific work related to decontaminating needs to be done. The adjuster may or may not be familiar with the credentials mentioned. You may need to communicate to them that these credentials supersede those of the ‘restoration company’ that performed the mold remediation and are the top credentials to evaluate mold/bacteria situations. This way the realization that the work is required to put the home back to what is called a ‘pre-loss condition’.
If you are a renter the same can apply even though your landlord hired the company that removed the mold/bacteria. This is where your renter’s insurance can come into play. As a renter, you would need to likely hire one of the Credentialed Inspectors mentioned to provide this report and get reimbursed by your insurance. Your landlord’s insurance may pay for this depending on the situation especially if the landlord is liable for the expense from a legal standpoint such as them knowing about the leak or mold and not acting promptly to address it.
Steve Mullins (i.e. Mold Detector)
CMC, Certified Microbial Consultant
Moisture and Mold Detection, Inc.